Indiana Provides Example Of How State Policies Can Promote Continuity Of Care
Oct 18, 2007
Babies and toddlers in child care need consistent, ongoing relationships with caregivers who understand and are responsive to their cues and can support, nurture, and guide the child s growth and development. Indiana has codified the importance of this relationship in its licensing rules; the state first required centers to make a "reasonable effort" to provide continuity of care for children under 30 months old in 2003. On October 1st, 2007, the Indiana Bureau of Child Care reaffirmed this commitment by releasing new Child Care Interpretive Guidelines that will help state licensors recognize whether programs are successfully implementing the requirement. Centers may meet this requirement by:
- Moving the teacher with their children to another classroom as the children mature;
- Modifying the classroom as the children mature;
- Creating mixed age groupings of children, ages six weeks to 36 months; or
- Creating intentional transitions that prepare children as they move into the next age classroom.
States also use child care quality enhancement and subsidy policies to increase access to continuous, high quality care for infants and toddlers. For example, in the Educare model, private partnerships with state agencies such as in Omaha, Nebraska provide ongoing subsidies and supports to assure low-income babies and toddlers can attend high quality, comprehensive early childhood programs using the continuity of care model in disadvantaged neighborhoods. And, Indiana is one of 19 states with an infant-toddler specialist network that provides technical assistance to providers caring for children under age three.